A report from the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed that around £45m in compensation has been paid out to rail passengers during 2015-16.
The report said that rail passengers are more willing and better able to claim and receive fair compensation if their train is delayed or cancelled.
UK Rail Minister Paul Maynard said new research by consumer group Transport Focus revealed that the number of eligible passengers claiming compensation over the past three years rose from 12% in 2013 to 35% this year.
Maynard said: “We are determined to ensure passengers are confident in the service and value they will get if they choose to travel by rail. Of course, we must constantly strive to improve punctuality but if things go wrong, passengers need to know that they will be compensated fairly.
“We have been working with partners in the rail industry to ensure passengers are aware of their right to recompense for disruption and, at the same time, we are making the claim process simpler and swifter so that it is easier and more attractive to apply.”
The DfT’s latest report is in response to the Office of Rail and Road’s investigation of the super-complaint raised by the consumer body Which? regarding existing compensation schemes.
According to the report, ministers expect to see rapid progress in the rail industry to improve the way passengers are made aware of their entitlement to compensation.
The DfT said it will continue using its powers as a franchising authority to drive improvement, including the continued launch of delay repay across all train operating companies.
Going forward, compensation will be made by offering cash refunds instead of rail vouchers.